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Wed 17 Oct 2007 10:32 AM

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Swider: closure rumours false

Four Points by Sheraton, Bur Dubai is not set for the scrap heap, according to vice president, brand management, Sally Swider.

Four Points by Sheraton, Bur Dubai is not set for the scrap heap, according to vice president, brand management, Sally Swider.

Swider played down rumours that the hotel - one of Four Points by Sheraton's older properties - would be de-flagged in the future, during a recent trip to Dubai.

"We're going to make sure that those [hotels] that need renovation get it - a brand is only as strong as its weakest link," she told Hotelier Middle East.

"The Bur Dubai property is a great box, and with the renovation it will become a great use of space."

The chain is currently undergoing a massive regional expansion plan, with new hotels in the pipeline in Doha, Tartous, Turkey and Nigeria, as well as "many more in negotiation", according to Swider.

"We're sending out very strong signals and we will probably double our current number of hotels in the region in the next two or three years," she said.

"We love the fact that a lot of our pipeline is new construction; we love restoration but new builds offer a clean slate to build on."

Four Points by Sheraton caters to both mid-scale business and leisure travellers, offering good value and a "fuss-free hotel experience.

Rooms feature all the basic necessities - a comfortable bed, a shower, and free high-speed internet access - without any of the pomp and parade of a five-star hotel.

"Our customers are happy to roll their own bags through the lobby to their room or do their own photocopying - they are self-sufficient guests," said Swider.

"Then again we want to keep the guest within Starwood's family of brands, so when they are looking for a different kind of experience, they know that they can find it in Sheraton or Le Meridien for example."

The brand also offers guests "Simple Pleasures", including warm pie, fresh coffee, free bottled water, and a wide selection of beers.

Four Points by Sheraton has also stepped up its Asia Pacific growth, with the recent announcement of two new hotels in China and one in Tibet.

The chain now has 17 properties operational in the Asia Pacific region and a further 11 under construction.

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